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Benton City Of Kennewick Council Position 2 Ward 2

Salary: $11,904 Term: 4 yearThe city council sets the general policies of the city, which are implemented by the city manager and staff. One of council's main duties is the adoption of policies and the enactment of the city's annual budget. City council sets fiscal policies and approves all spending , whether for operations or capital items or public facility maintenance and improvements. The council also sets salaries for city employees.
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    Gregory A. Jones (NP) Hanford Site Chief Financial Officer

  • Steve Lee (NP)

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Biographical Information

What are the issues surrounding your city/town's infrastucture?

How do you think your city/town could best respond to homelessness?

What is your commitment to senior citizens?

How do you think your city/town should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

What are other major issues facing your city or town?

Of those listed above, which one is the most urgent?

What methods will you use to work with the mayor (if you have an elected mayor) or the city manager or administrator(if you have an chief administrator hired by the council)?

Town where you live Kennewick, WA
Experience (300 characters max) I have thirty years of progressive work experience leading organizations in financial management, budget, Human Resources, procurement and labor relations. This experience has helped me tremendously in serving numerous non-profits and the City of Kennewick. I strongly believe in public service.
Almost every city in America has aging infrastructure. Kennewick is not immune to this, and the Council and staff have worked diligently to put a Capital Improvement Plan in place that replaces aging infrastructure in a mindful manner while also ensuring that we are putting resources towards growth and new infrastructure to expand the tax base. Some of these are not flashy, but are vital to citizens. For example, the wastewater treatment facilities are in dire need of updates and we have put these as a focus. Ensuring the water flows and toilets flush is key to happy citizens. Another vital area is ensuring roads are maintained and improved. With hundreds of miles of paved roads in Kennewick this is one of the most valuable assets in the city, and one that almost every resident uses daily. Lots to do, but we have a plan and we are implementing the plan to ensure maintenance and improvements are done.
One of the most important aspects of responding to homelessness is to consider the root cause of the issue. Is it lack of jobs, drug dependency issues, lack of training and education or other issues. As members of this community we need to open our minds and hearts to understand what each individuals issues are so we can help alleviate the root cause. After that is resolved for some (it is almost impossible to solve for all) we need to have zoning and communities that provide affordable housing. Kennewick has worked to ensure our plans include the opportunity for developers to plan for many housing options. In addition the City has partnered with developers to provide land and put in infrastructure for numerous Habitat for Humanity communities and single family homes. It is a very difficult and concerning issue that will require diligence on the part of all residents.
One of the most important things we can do for our senior citizens is to have a community that their children and grandchildren want to live in. Bringing more diverse activities and development to this community is one of my drives as a Councilman and it fits right in with helping our senior citizens. Of course it is also very important to have a safe community with outstanding response times for fire fighters and Emergency Medical Technicians, and a police force that makes it safe to walk in our neighborhoods. Another important thing is being mindful that many senior citizens have fixed incomes. Financial stewardship is important, and the City of Kennewick has done an amazing job of keeping costs down in comparison to surrounding communities. We are getting a great bang for our buck as residents.
The most important part of this question is to bifurcate the question. If there are people here legally we should welcome them into our community. One of our greatest strengths is our diversity and a continued influx of people with different ideas and backgrounds makes us better. When I was in college I was on the track team with international athletes from all over the world. This experience was vital to my formation and opened my eyes to the amazing people that weren't like me. In terms of illegal immigration, our responsibility is to follow the federal law. It is not our job to establish immigration policies or procedures, or pursue agendas.
The City has done a very good job utilizing federal and state grants to offset the costs of development. This has had a positive impact on the budget and provided great opportunities for our residents. The State of Washington has cut many of the programs the city utilized to develop Southridge, specifically the Public Works Trust Fund. This is just one example of the many state revenue streams that have been halted or reduced. At the same time requirements and state and federal mandates continue. This will put a crunch on our citizens if it continues. As costs continue to rise partnerships with our surrounding communities need to be increased. We need to partner with cities and Counties to reduce redundancy and effectively manage our cities as one to the extent practicable. I am not talking about combining, rather just being mindful of economies of scale. Kennewick has done a good job of leading in this area, but it will need to be increased if trends continue.
I really believe the issues with the State revenue streams need to be a focus for the Kennewick and all cities within the State.
I have worked hard to be an informed and educated Councilman over my 4.5 years on the council. I believe civil discourse is important and through this I believe my voice has been heard and will continue to be heard. Much of the work of a City is done in committee meetings and workshops and actively listening and understanding and providing thoughtful input utilizing my experience has served me well, and I believe has helped the City staff in developing solutions. One of the things I have continued to focus on is to keep the city and the Council focused on city issues. While there are always national issues and politics at play most of them do not have a place in city governance.
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